The ASPIRE Program at YC

Alex Russell, Feature Editor

ASPIRE is a program that aims to help guide students through the application processes for scholarships and colleges along with all of the other challenges faced when preparing for post high school education plans.

The program started at YC in the 2006/2007 school year, and was fairly new in the state at the time. The program has changed dramatically since the beginning because there is a vast amount of resources readily available because of the internet.

YC has available over 40 local scholarships to graduating seniors that commonly consist of between $500 and $1000.

When Interviewing the head of the ASPIRE program at YC since 2008, Janet Herring-Sherman she stated, “The last report I saw earlier this year indicated that a student with a mentor has an 85% better chance of going to college or a career/trade school.”

When talking to mentors and students they both say that this program has presented some extremely rewarding experiences. Mentors do not have to be college educated as they go through a training process to help them help students. Mentors commonly come in for an hour or so once a week to meet with the youth in which they are mentoring.

Some students have mentioned however that they feel they are not getting the help they need, but this is due to a high student to mentor ratio, there is approximately 120 students and 7 mentors.

ASPIRE is hungry for mentors, please feel free to contact Janet Herring-Sherman if you are interested in becoming a mentor.  

Janet Herring-Sherman

Phone: 503-883-3686

Email:  [email protected]

A list of the many things that mentors help you do, list provided by Herring-Sherman:

  • Explore education and training options beyond high school
  • Develop a plan for after you graduate high school
  • Receive assistance with essays and applications
  • Have help meeting deadlines
  • Get advice about college choices
  • Receive direction to scholarship and financial aid resources

Some statistics provided by Herring-Sherman:

  • 1,301 students sign up and participate with a mentor. Of those, 1,120  (86% ) were Seniors
  • An additional 4,870 students either drop in or attend ASPIRE events
  • Graduates collectively offered $20,469,121 in grants and scholarships (from all colleges where they applied; but of course, accepting only merit aid that pertains to their final choice of college)
  • Graduates accept $11,497,191 in total (Note that these figures DO NOT include any student loan money available)
  • Devoted mentors who have volunteered more than 8,922 hours, which is valued at $212,639.